Firefall and Wawona at Yosemite

Wawona in Yosemite National Park is one of the oldest hotels in the area, dating back to 1860. In 1932, Wawona--which means "big tree" in the native language--was annexed to the national park. When the Muckenthalers visited, Wawona was run by the park service and Curry Company, which also ran Camp Curry with lower-end tents and rooms for rent. There were nightly performances by the famous Firefall, a summertime ritual (until 1968) in which embers were dropped a height of roughly 3,000 feet from the top of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park down to the valley below, looking from a distance like a glowing waterfall. Camp Curry also featured a dance pavilion, pool hall, soda fountain, nightly movies, swimming pool, gas station, service garage, and ice-skating rink.